ER Editor: Vladimir Putin gave his annual address yesterday, Wednesday April 21. We offer the analysis of Alexander Mercouris, followed by the video of Putin’s full speech with simultaneous English translation, followed by a short piece from Sputnik News.
- Alex Christoforou: Does Putin have a new sense of energy now that Biden is in the WH? It was an energetic speech. He focused on tradition – Russian culture, family and tradition, and the need for Russians to focus on religion and family. Toward the end, he focused on foreign policy, saying effectively ‘the West is coming after Russia’. And Russia won’t sit there and take it. Listen to certain parts of this speech to find out why the western globalists hate Putin. He is their antithesis.
- Alexander Mercouris: he does look re-energized. 2020 was the year that Russia was supposed to move forward with its infrastructure program, as well as investing heavily in healthcare and education. But the pandemic interrupted this. The economic numbers have turned out well for Russia. Savings have actually grown, so they’re in a good position to advance this program. Which will advance growth. This may be why he has renewed confidence.
- This new focus on being Russian, on respecting their distinct identity and culture – it represents a change of feeling within Russia that they don’t have to follow the West all the time. It shows growing self-confidence, which wouldn’t have happened 10 years ago. At the end of the speech, Putin showed how Russia is stronger and far less vulnerable to western sanctions. The West no longer has the means to leverage Russia as it used to have.
- Russia has ‘red lines’: he’s never spoken like that before. In private, they used to tell the West what they wouldn’t accept, but now they’re talking about this publicly. If those red lines are broken, Russia will react toughly. They are now in a position to be much more assertive. He compared the west to jackals and hyenas, and he went on about the plot against Lukashenko in Belarus and the coup against him.
- There is going to be more coming out about this plot. It appears to have much more substance than anticipated. Putin showed up this type of action for what it is. He has promised to no longer be passive in the face of such actions. This is new.
- There will likely be a trial because several people have been arrested. It will be exposed – it’s huge.
- To recap: we’ve had movements of troops to Ukraine, warships lining up in the Black Sea, US sanctions rolled out on Russia, and now an attempt to launch a coup in Belarus all happening around the same time. Sudden comments coming out of Washington and comments in western capitals are now coming more into focus as they try to walk things back. Russia will now take a hard line against all this. It seems that a multi-pronged attack on Russia was being planned.
- Putin took a jab at the woke Biden government as Putin talked about doubling down on its traditions while other countries ignore these things. This message has a lot of traction in Europe, too. Orban, Salvini, etc. have pushed this message in the past. This message of Putin will unsettle the western globalists even more because they don’t have a coherent response to it.
- Russia seems to have problems on its western borders contained, as well as the plot revealed and stopped.
- It was a good and effective speech, and it explains Putin’s decision made last year to stay on longer. The original plan was to retire in 2024, but Russians did sense a crisis was coming where it wasn’t advisable to drop the pilot. If so, it was entirely the right decision for Putin to stay on.
- Did Russian intelligence know about the presidential election shenanigans last November? Most likely. In this respect, it was advisable for Putin to stay on. Russia has a highly effective intelligence system and brilliant analysts. So it’s highly likely they could see the shape of things to come and prepared for it.
- There will be a trial in Minsk in the next few months. A huge amount of evidence will emerge, which will make it all but impossible to pursue any further regime change policies in Belarus. Belarus will naturally drift closer to Russia.
- The optics of Putin’s speech: he was assertive, professional, a competent speaker. Putin and Trump had completely different styles of speaking, but in both cases they each know what they were doing and saying. Putin’s speeches are always highly structured; Trump’s were more tailored to the audience, but both are/were in charge and know what they want to say. But with Biden and Harris, they say little and hide behind clichés. It’s all empty. Leaders don’t talk in clichés.
ER: See this report we recently published on the coup against Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus, titled Russia & Belarus Say US-Backed “Assassination” & “Coup” Attempt Against Lukashenko Thwarted.
Putin’s Annual Address draws RED LINES NOT to be crossed. More info on Belarus coup coming
Russia Will Find a Way to Protect Its Interests If Other Countries Refuse Dialogue, Putin Says
The president’s remarks come amid a new round of tensions between Russia and the West, including fresh sanctions against Moscow by Washington, claims about cyberattacks and election meddling, and mutual recriminations over the escalating civil conflict in Ukraine.
Moscow will find “asymmetrical” ways to defend its national interests if other nations refuse dialogue, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said.
“Unfriendly actions toward Russia do not cease,” Putin said, speaking during his annual address to lawmakers from both houses of Russia’s parliament on Wednesday. “In these circumstances, we behave ourselves with utter restraint, one may even say humbly, often times leaving without response not only unfriendly actions but also blatant rudeness.”
“In some countries, a nasty custom has taken root – to ‘cling’ to Russia on any pretext. It’s like some kind of sport…We truly do not want to burn bridges, and want to have good relations with all members of the international community. But if someone perceives our goodwill as indifference or weakness, and is prepared to completely burn, or even blow up, those bridges, Russia’s response will be asymmetrical, speedy and tough,” Putin warned.
The president added that he hoped no foreign nation would attempt to cross any of Russia’s “red lines”, and compared countries trying to “bully” Russia to the tiger Shere Khan and Tabaqui the jackal from Rudyard Kipling’s novel “The Jungle Book”.
Belarus Coup Plot
The president went on to address the recent discovery of a plot to assassinate the Belarusian president and members of his family and to carry out a coup d’etat in Belarus.
“One can evaluate [former] President of Ukraine [Viktor] Yanukovych or [President Nicolas] Maduro of Venezuela however one likes…One can have any point of view regarding the policies of Belarusian President Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko. But the practice of organising coups and attempts to organise assassinations of heads of state is just too much. All boundaries have been crossed,” Putin said.
The plot was uncovered by Russian and Belarusian security services, with Russia’s FSB detaining two members of the Belarusian opposition in Moscow, and their Belarusian counterparts indicating that they had detained several persons believed to be backed by US intelligence services. The State Department denied any involvement in the plot.”It is worth pointing to the confessions of the detained participants in the conspiracy that a blockade of Minsk was being prepared, including its city infrastructure and communications, the complete shutdown of the entire power grid of the Belarusian capital. This, incidentally means preparations for a massive cyberattack. And this isn’t something that can be done with a single switch,” Putin continued.
“Apparently, it’s not for no reason that our Western colleagues have stubbornly rejected numerous proposals by the Russian side to establish an international dialogue in the field of information and cybersecurity,” the president suggested.
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